This is an excellent question, but we need a comparisons TO WHAT. We can rely on opinions or we can compare Earth's locations to truly understand.
Chris, a reader, asked an excellent question:
"JUST how Tropical is Miami really?"
Why is this important? Because it is the essence of all global knowledge: Everything is a comparison; without useful comparisons, statements are nonsense. Many statements made by Americans are just opinions posing as facts. These opinions endeavor to become facts in our mind, but they are nonsensical at best without a good comparison to qualify them.
For example, to say that Florida is tropical means nothing, but to say that Florida is more tropical than New York is a phrase with meat. One has true ability to change our feelings and thoughts, and the other is probably an advertisement slogan for a Florida real estate company.
The word, "tropics," is a comparison.
What is tropical, literally, as defined by geographers?
What is tropical in the minds of, maybe, Chris, readers or other people in the USA?
The answers are not the same.
To me, Andy Lee Graham, who has visited and lived in the tropics, the tropics are as defined by geographers, the band from 23.5 degrees above the equator to 23.5 degrees below the equator.
I took Chris' question LITERALLY, not as a reader would, and answered according to the geographers' definition:
"Miami, Florida, is not tropical; it is not even in the tropical band."
Truly, this not an insightful reply by me; this is not what Chris wanted to ask or have pointed out. Hee was asking me about the feeling of being in the tropical band.
How does a tropical country feel?
1. I have no need to fight the cold -- That is the big one.
2. I have no need for cool-weather clothing, and seldom if ever a jacket.
3. It is work to keep cool; there is a fight to stay cool.
4. There is a fight to not sweat, perspire.
5. There is a desire to get into the shade, not have the direct sunlight that never ends blaring on my body.
6. The closer to sitting on the equator, the less the sun changes in angles, the fewer differences to there are to compare. It more or less always feels the same.
People from the USA are afraid of the sun.
90 percent of the American population should stay totally away from the tropics. The tropical countries are places for sun bathers, not the paranoid, No. 50 sunblock people. I, Andy Lee Graham, want to get brown; I worship the sun. If you are a person that buys No. 50 sunblock, then stay at home; it is silly, in a way, to live in the tropical countries. I believe all this sun cancer stuff is anti-intellectual; we need the sun to make vitamin D, and the sun's ultraviolet rays clean all the things off our skin that thrive out of the light of day. ... Gee, even the Bible says to bring things into the light.
If you want a climate paradise, then live in the tropics at 5,000 foot elevation (1,500 M), where it is cool enough to offset the sun's heat.
That high in the tropics, there is no need for furnaces AND no need for air conditioning. This is NOT the oceanfront; this is paradise on Earth, the climate people really want, but they do not know it until they live there.
Paradise Climates (plan for rain)
1. Lago Atitlan, Guatemala
2. Baguio, Philippines
3. Medellin Colombia
4. Boquete, Panama
5. Vilcabamba, Ecuador
This is freedom from the clothing fight, but then there is the fight with rain.
How tropical is Miami, Florida? It would feel rather tropical for six months a year and sort of tropical for another three. And for three months in the year, you would want to actually travel to the tropics to escape the cold.
Escaping the cold is not the goal for me; it is escaping the clothing fight. I want to breathe air that is neither forced air furnace hot or air conditioned cold. I want real air to breath, which is comforting to my body.
Andy Lee Graham
Chris' Original Question
First and foremost I want to say that I am very sorry to hear about your dad. I can relate because many of my relatives passed away from cancer. You are in my thoughts.
I have a fast question of a much more trivial nature, if you don't mind:
I was wondering how the sunlight intensity ( not temp ,but rather, intensity of sunlight against the skin) of Ghana and Togo Africa compares to that of Miami, Florida?
How "tropical" is Miami really?
Your videos are very inspiring to me. Best wishes,
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Andy Lee Graham